The Gifts of Imperfection

I always love when I’m going along through life and I happen to pick up a book that gets me to face all of the things I’ve been avoiding. This happened when I recently picked up The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown. It got me to face  important things like authenticity, self love, and just owning up to being imperfect. I’ve gone around lately so busy, and so determined to get everything right, that I’ve been driving myself crazy. I’m an imperfect human, and instead of getting angry at myself when I forget to call someone back, or show up late for a meeting, I should anticipate that these things are going to happen, and acknowledge that it’s okay.

Something else that has been getting in my way lately is authenticity. Normally, I pride myself on being raw and authentic in how I portray myself. However, how can this be possible when I’m trying to make sure I get everything just right? It’s an impossible task, and clearly not one I should be aspiring to live up to.

If I haven’t been raw and authentic with myself lately, that surely doesn’t set me up to be very raw and authentic with anyone else.

I’ve shut myself off to the things that I want because they make me vulnerable, and, oh my, is vulnerability scary. But it was so reaffirming to go through this book, because within the past week, I’ve started to make life choices about things that no longer need to be in my life, what I really need, and how I’m going to make those things happen.

All this week, I’ve been making myself vulnerable from sharing this big idea I have with people who are far more knowledgeable than I, stepping down from a position that I’d lost heart in, and choosing to give love a chance with someone whom it failed with in the past. So it has been a big week of feeling extremely vulnerable, and I was terrified the whole time — terrified of my idea being shut down, terrified of letting people down, terrified of being rejected — but I did it anyway.

I thought a lot all week about the fact that life comes with no gurantees, and decided there were two things I could do with that.

I could either live life safely, and only do things where I had control of the outcome, or I could open myself up to the possibility of hurt, if that means potentially finding greatness.

I know there will be times where I’m vulnerable, and my biggest fear becomes reality. Yet I also know that won’t be the case every time. And it’s that little ounce of hope that vulnerability might lead to great things that keeps me open to the idea.

I could go on and on about why you should pick up this book, but I really think it’s something we can all benefit from, as it deals with the things we all struggle with as humans. The book guides you through this idea of cultivating a wholehearted life, and tell me, who doesn’t want that?

Wholehearted living is about engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, “No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough.” It’s going to bed at night thinking, “Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging.”

~Brené Brown

So tell me, how have you been vulnerable lately?

One thought on “The Gifts of Imperfection

  1. I loved this book. Brene Brown is fantastic. Her thoughts helped inspire me to embrace my vulnerability by writing my story (despite fear, shame, and all the obstacles in the way!).

    P.S. – Brene Brown has a fabulous TED talk on “The Power of Vulnerability.” An awesome complement to this book.

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